Pacific Brands boss advises manufacturers to accept offshoring

The CEO of Pacific Brands, John Pollaers, has spoken in favour of outsourcing, claiming some manufacturers should accept it as necessary to remain viable.

“You can have a successful manufacturing industry and still outsource the physical production,” Pollaers told The Australian Financial Review.

“If we recognise those companies that are investing in added value, it is a more exciting and viable industry.”

Pollaers, a former Foster’s Group chief, was announced as Sue Morphett’s replacement last August. The company posted losses of over $400 million for the last two financial years.

The chief’s comments in favour of outsourcing are in line with those made by former federal treasury secretary and recent Asian Century white paper author Ken Henry.

“Instead of making the same products that we were making 140 years ago, that capacity can instead be used to make and do things that only we can do, or that Australia can do better than people in other countries,” said Henry last year.

Pollaers lauded Pacific’s controversial decision announced in February 2009 to outsource its manufacturing. He admitted that Pacific had “a couple of challenging years ahead,” but the company had a stable of strong brands and outsourcing held the company in good stead.